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Switzerland: Susten Pass

Updated: Mar 1, 2020

SUSTEN PASS (2224 m)

If you start your travels in Wassen, Switzerland in the Canton of Uri, Susten Pass is accessible via Route 11 heading west towards Innertkirken. The drive from Wassen to Innertkirchen is about 45 km (28 miles).

The town of Wassen

Tunnels are a common site along the Sustenpass road, which extends into the Cantons of Uri and Bern.

Switchbacks and hairpin turns take you to the top

Susten Passhöhe, great for lunch and refreshing beverage

The First of the "Big 5"

The Summit

Sports cars of choice for the drive and the flag of the Canton of Bern

The drive over Sustenpass was truly magnificent but one of the unique surprises was driving along and spotting a waterfall a ways out in front. My wife quickly grabbed the camera and got this shot approaching the waterfall.

Then we realized we were going to travel through the small tunnel and that the water fall would be flowing OVER the top of the tunnel. Absolutely stunning! The waterfall is Wyssebachfall.

This is the view of Wyssebachfall from below the waterfall and tunnel.

Just after leaving route 11 at Innertkirchen you will see Aare Gorge (Aareschlucht) off to the right. Aare Gorge was created from the rushing glacier water carving through large limestone rock that makes up the gorge. Visitors are able to walk along the cliff walls of the gorge as the glacier water rushes by you below.

As you approach the small town of Meiringen there is a waterfall just off to the left. This waterfall is Grand Reichenbach Falls which was made famous as the fictional setting where Sherlock Holmes fought to the death with Professor Moriarty. A memorial plaque at the finicular station commemorates Sherlock Holmes and there is also a Sherlock Holmes museum in the town of Meiringen. The finicular takes you up the mountain for spectacular viewpoints of the falls. So for those who are fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes will love a visit to this part of Switzerland.

Once you leave the beauty of the high alpine roads of Switzerland, you continue to be treated with amazing views of green valleys and the rugged Swiss mountains.



There are a number of places to eat along the route, however, you might want to eat at a place in one of the valley towns. Additionally, there are hotels or hostels along the route, but my recommendation would be to stay in the valley towns and drive Sustenpass as a day trip.

Extended Day-Trips:

For an adventurous tram ride and hike, you can stop at Gadmen and take the Nessental Triftbahn up to Triftbahn Bergstation. Then a short hike up to Triftsee (lake) and the amazing Trift Bridge (Triftbrücke), with spectacular views of the Triftsee and Triftgletscher.

There are numerous hikes at Sustenpass and down at Wyssebachfalls to explore Steinsee and the Steingletscher. It is definitely worth stopping for an hour or two and explore the area in more detail.

I would definitely recommend discovering more in the area of Meiringen, including an excursion to Reichenbach Falls and the Sherlock Holmes museum. A trip on the Reichenbach Falls Funicular will give you a great glimpse of the falls and valley below. Meiringen is also home to the original meringue desserts. The Parkhotel Du Sauvage is listed as a Swiss Heritage Site, along with the Swiss Reformed Church (Evang.-ref. Kirchgemeinde Meiringen).

A visit to the Aare Gorge (Aareschlucht) will be rewarding as well.

Refer to the Travel Map for more to see and experience in this area of Switzerland.


Links to more information about the "Big 5" Alpine Passes: Susten Pass Grimsel Pass Furka Pass St Gotthard Pass Nufenen Pass

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